It is a mathematical certainty Giancarlo Stanton will eventually cool off.
That occasion was not Wednesday night.
The designated hitter, swinging one of the hottest bats in the sport, continued that trend, going 3-for-4, including his team-leading eighth homer, with four RBIs in helping lead the Yankees to a 6-3 victory over the Astros in front of a crowd of 9,895 that was still plenty lively with vitriol.
"I’m doing a great job on mistakes," Stanton said. "A pitcher makes a mistake in the middle of the plate, I’m doing some damage on it. That’s our job, that’s my job. Some stretches you do better than others, but I’m in a pretty good one right now."
As are the Yankees (16-14), winners of five straight and 11 of their last 15.
They went ahead in the bottom of the eighth on an RBI single by the slumping Aaron Hicks. Brett Gardner’s sacrifice fly with the bases loaded and none out made it 5-3 and Stanton — who else? — added an RBI single with two outs to make it 6-3 leaving, once again, no doubt as to the story of the night.
His two-run homer gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the third and, with his club down 3-2 in the fifth, he delivered a two-out, RBI double that tied it at 3. Stanton’s home run, his second in as many nights, extended his hitting streak to 11 games, a stretch in which he’s 24-for-48 (. 500) with five homers and 10 RBIs.
"He’s a game-changer," said Jordan Montgomery, who allowed three runs — all in the fourth inning — and eight hits over six innings.
Stanton has recorded at least 3 hits in five of his last six games, going 17-for-27 (. 630) with three homers, three doubles and seven RBIs in that span.
"I haven’t thrown in three-hit games like this before," he said, asked if this is the most locked in he’s felt. "I can’t tell if it’s the best ever, but just glad I’m here and have to work to keep it going."
Aroldis Chapman’s dominant season continued with a perfect ninth to make him 7-for-7 in saves. The closer has not allowed a run in 11 games and has struck out 26 in 11 innings.
How would Stanton currently do against Chapman?
"I'll probably go back to the dugout, like everyone else," Stanton said with a smile afterward.
Gleyber Torres started the go-ahead rally in the eighth against lefty Brooks Raley with a single. Clint Frazier, pinch hitting for Mike Ford, drew a walk, setting up the flare to right by Hicks, who had been in an 8-for-59 slide before his sixth-inning double.
Montgomery could not hold the 2-0 lead Stanton provided him — Stanton’s blast improved him to 24-for 58 (. 414) with five homers and 12 RBIs hitting in the two-hole where he’s followed by Aaron Judge — as the Astros (15-15) took the lead.
The Astros loaded the bases with three straight hits, the third a liner off the bat of Yordan Alvarez that hit Montgomery’s glove and skittered away from the pitcher. Carlos Correa, booed almost as lustily as Jose Altuve this series, grounded out to second to bring in a run to make it 2-1. Yuli Gurriel then laced one into the corner in left, which scored Alex Bregman but Correa, on an aggressive send by third base coach Gary Pettis, was easily thrown out by Gio Urshela on his relay throw to the plate for the second out. Aledmys Diaz then roped a 1-and-2 changeup into the corner in left to make it 3-2. Montgomery allowed three runs and eight hits over six innings. Montgomery is part of a rotation that has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 15 of its last 16 starts, posting a 2.69 ERA, with 101 strikeouts over 90 1/3 innings, in that stretch.
"It’s been a little bit of everything," Aaron Boone said of his club’s resurgence. "It’s just been a much better brand of baseball now. The way we’re capable of."